Irrfan Khan! Gone too soon but Zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye! makes this dialogue immortal

As Irrfan Khan passed away leaving a void that can never be filled, here’s an ode to everyone’s favourite actor.
Irrfan Khan! Gone too soon but Zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye! makes this dialogue immortal
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“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” These words from Life of Pi defines what pinched the film lovers the most about the untimely demise of Irrfan Khan

I confess that despite the sea of accolades for Life of Pi, the reason I watched it was because of Irrfan. There may be a list of films which many of us enjoyed because he made us fall in love with them. When we heard he left us, my heart sank, and I felt what Pi Patel would have felt when Richard Parker left him without even taking a moment to turn back. 

The social media soon flooded with praises, odes, and post carrying his famous dialogues. In this deluge of posts, I stopped at the heart-wrenching video Irrfan recorded for promoting his last film, Angrezi Medium. In the video, he asserts: ‘There is a proverb that when life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade. But in reality, when you are facing it, you realise it is easier said than done.’ It wasn’t an attempt to create a tear-jerking moment to promote the film. The honesty in Irrfan’s voice could dodge the inherent skepticism of an editor who is programmed to observe everything from the prisms of PR. 

ALSO READ | Irrfan Khan Death: Angrezi Medium star Radhika Madan pays tribute: Grateful our paths crossed in this lifetime

One of the quotes by American philosopher and professor of psychology, William James, defines why we loved Irrfan. James said, “Act the part, and you will become the part.” 

The 53-year-old actor was undoubtedly one of the best Khans Bollywood ever produced. But he truly believed what’s in the name? In the industry where dominant surnames do wonders, Irrfan dropped ‘Khan’ from his name mid-way through his career. He was self-assured when he said that it’s not the surname but the karma that makes you powerful.  Early in his career, Irrfan, who was named Sahabzada Irfan Ali Khan preferred to drop Sahabzada from his name because he believed it highlighted the privileged position his family once enjoyed in the Tonk village in Rajasthan.

Ask his fans what they like about his acting; most have a very fluid response. The fact is, most people relate to Irrfan because he was not a celebrity. He was never one. He was always one amongst us who lived a myriad characters adeptly on the celluloid. So many of us have lived our dream through his success and popularity. 

ALSO READ | Irrfan Khan Death: Piku co star Deepika Padukone shares a powerful tribute to the actor

Regardless of which script he was offered, Irrfan left an indelible mark on the audience in both Bollywood and Hollywood. He used to speak to the audience through cinema, interviews, interactions and even his social media posts. There was something so uncommon about his such a familiar and real-life personality. He wasn’t a sesquipedalian; he preferred simplicity. 

If you binge-watch his best films (it’s a long list, though), you won’t find Irrfan in any of those. What you will find is an athlete-turned-rebel - Pan Singh Tomar, a widower Saajan Fernandez who falls in love with someone merely through words and delicious lunchbox; Rana an impish rental cab service owner from Piku. The list is never-ending! 

It was early 2018 when Irrfan fell ill, and there were a lot of speculations on the criticality. He requested his fans and media to wait for an update rather than follow the grapevine. By mid-March of 2018, he used the microblogging site to inform announce that he diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour. He even moved to London for the treatment. However, when the audience heard about his return to the screen for his film, Angrezi Medium, he made many of us believe the worst was over. 

ALSO READ | Irrfan Khan passes away: 5 interesting facts about the versatile actor that you must know

Sadly, the last movie I reviewed in a theatre was Angrezi Medium. I wrote then: Irrfan, we missed you! I never thought in less than two months and I would be writing a piece on his untimely death. And as people write about his journey as an actor, I can only call it a sojourn. I feel this journey, ended too soon. For him, and us. One of the most challenging parts of this piece was to go back and correct each statement where I referred to him in the present tense – as if the film lover in me refuses to believe we lost a true actor.

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Anonymous 9 months ago

We lost one of the finest actors... Rest in peace Irfan sir... u wl be missed.

Anonymous 9 months ago

Good expression of emotion

Anonymous 9 months ago

Miss you Irrfan sir. You were one of the greatest actors we have had. Always enjoyed watching your movies. Will never stop remembering you. Rest in Peace

Anonymous 9 months ago

this is so wrong God. youu take the gem too soon . RIP Irfan Sir. love you.

Anonymous 9 months ago

This is so true. We lost a talent

Anonymous 9 months ago

We lost a bundle of Talent. A truly versatile actor who enacted every role by putting his heart in it.